Watch CBS News

Elijah McClain's Mother Pleads For Concrete Change Following Protests

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) - The deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have inspired the recent marches in downtown Denver. A name some want you to also remember is Aurora's Elijah McClain.

Elijah's mother, Sheneen McClain, says from day one he was a determined young man.

(credit: CBS)

"He had asthma really bad when he was little, but he was determined to run. He did everything he could to get his body upright," she said.

She says not only was he determined to run, but he was also determined to make a difference and share his love with the world. He was interested in natural healing and worked as a massage therapist - a job he loved.

Sheneen said, "I thank God that he was my son because just him being born brought life into my world, you know what I mean? I know he was giving life to other people too."

(credit: CBS)

In August of 2019 someone called police when Elijah was walking down the street in Aurora. They said he was acting strange. When police showed up, they say he reached for an officer's gun.

The police tackled him, performed a chokehold and injected him with ketamine to sedate him. Elijah was declared brain dead days later.

An investigation found no wrongdoing by police and no one was charged. His death ruined his mother's life.

"It's really hard for me to get out because I just break out and cry a lot," said Sheneen.

Sheenan McClain (credit: CBS)

Recent calls for an end to police brutality and black rights has led to renewed calls for justice for Elijah. His mom is hopeful that now things will change.

"The fact that everyone came out even after so long is important."

She wants Coloradans to do more than protest. She wants laws passed so black men like her son can live in a world where they don't fear being killed by police.

"We need to flood the senate or whoever we need to in order to get these bills passed so that equality is real and it's not just a delusion," Sheneen said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.